When Bentley entered the automobile industry, their 1st designs were powerful cars that could compete in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans and Luxurious models that featured the classiest coachwork which immediately put Bentley on the road to success. But even after the success of Bentley, it did not survive the recession and went bankrupt in 1931. Founder Walter Owen Bentley thought that Lagonda would be the one to buy his company and is just waiting for the receivership court to approve the bid. Until someone stepped out and offered a higher bid to the court, a higher bid the court could not refuse. It was later revealed that the man was Bentley’s longtime rival, Rolls-Royce.
The 1933 Bentley 3.5 Liter was the 1st Bentley model under Rolls-Royce’s management. Produced in Derby factory of Rolls-Royce, it was the first of the models named as the Derby Bentleys that were produced from 1933 to 1940. The Bentley 3.5 Liter one of the designs that came out of the ‘Peregrine’ project by Rolls-Royce. It was designed to be a small luxury vehicle to cope up with the scarcity during the Great Depression.
The ‘Peregrine’ project was able to create 2 models: the Bentley 3.5 Liter and the Rolls-Royce 20/25. W.O. Bentley was still part of the Bentley 3.5 Liter’s development which created 2 completely different designs. This is probably why the Bentley Drivers Club will always be the counterpart of the Rolls-Royce Owners Club.
The Bentley 3.5 Liter was popularly called as “The Silent Sports Car”. It had a cross-flow cylinder head with twin fuel pumps and twin S.U. carburetors which produced 105 hp. The 3.5 L engine was connected to a 4-speed synchromesh transmission which propelled the car up to 90 mph. The Bentley 3.5 Liter with its perfect combination of elegance and power was highly received by the public. W.O. Bentley even said that the Bentley 3.5 Liter was the best Bentley model at that time.
By 1936, the engine grew to a 4.25 Liter engine which was able to produce 126 horsepower and propelled the car to almost 100 mph. The increase in performance also increased the variety of coachwork the car could carry. Both the engine and chassis were made in Derby and were then shipped to exclusive coachbuilders who designed and built individual coachworks according to the buyer’s needs and preferences. Because of the exclusiveness of the model, only 1,234 Bentley 4.25 Liters were made from 1935 to 1940.
This featured 1938 Bentley 4.25 Liter Park Ward Saloon is an untainted and highly original example. Believe it or not, it was never restored and only received some freshening up. As can clearly be seen in the photos, this Bentley looks marvelous and extremely solid. Any Bentley fan would want to have this car, a simple yet elegant design. The coachwork looks very formal that is fit for an executive officer or a government official. The exterior is done in beautiful 2-tone black and tan finish that is accented by a red coach line. The full wheel covers and black fenders complete the business look of this Bentley.
The interior is incredibly original that features a luxurious design that Bentley is known for. The leather seats and door panels that are both done in bone hue have been well-preserved. Although the seats are showing some fading over time, they still look very comfortable. Both the carpeting and headliner have been replaced. The originality of the wood work is incredible and there are no visible cracks or splits. Just above the front seats, there is a metal sunroof that easily slides off which is perfect for a sunny day cruise. The original trunk has also started to show some aging but is still solid and even has the original tools it came with. Probably it’s most interesting detail and remembrance to its colorful history is the original sticker placed on the windshield that proves that this Bentley competed in the International Rolls-Royce and Bentley Pageant in 1967 at the Goodwood circuit. W.O. Bentley is believed to have been present at the same event.
Although there are more wonderful examples out there, the beauty of this classic Bentley is undeniable. A highly original of a highly desirable Bentley that runs perfectly well despite being a restored example. The body is all original and look perfectly solid. Although the interior had some parts replaced, it is still mostly original. A great example of a Bentley that survived the Great Depression which surely is part of Bentley fan’s wish list.
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